How Pique Ventures and its portfolio companies are changing the face of Canadian venture capital through innovative impact investing
Vancouver, BC (Oct 31, 2018) – Pique Ventures is proud to announce that Beanworks – led by CEO Catherine Dahl – raised over $10 million this fall to support the growth of its accounting workflow automation software solutions. This achievement is not only exciting news for Beanworks, but shows how Pique’s innovative approach to impact investing and creating gender diversity is changing the face of the Canadian venture capital eco-system.
Pique Ventures launched its first fund, an inclusive angel fund focused on leadership diversity and women-led ventures, in 2014 and has supported Dahl’s vision from the beginning, making an initial investment in Beanworks during the start-up phase in 2015 and a subsequent strategic investment in the Series A funding round of 2017. Pique Ventures then made a follow-on investment in Beanworks as part of the $10.1 million Series B funding round led by FINTOP Capital and BDC Capital’s Women in Technology Venture Fund as announced on September 18, 2018. The Canadian fintech company will use the recent investment to further enhance its platform, release an expense module and expand into new global markets.
Bonnie Foley-Wong, CEO of Pique Ventures, says Pique uses a proprietary integrated investing methodology which sets us apart from other impact investment funds. “For example, with our investment in Beanworks, we looked at the impact they are having in terms of workforce diversity and how their technology makes a positive impact in the world,” she says.
Both Pique and Beanworks believe that increasing gender diversity drives business growth.
Beanworks CEO Catherine Dahl says her company’s inclusive culture is a key driving force behind Beanworks’ growth. “We began with two female and two male co-founders in 2012 because we knew strategically companies that focus on gender diversity perform better. Studies repeatedly show that diversity and inclusion increase workplace satisfaction, productivity, retention, and overall revenue.”
Foley-Wong explains that Pique’s focus on leadership diversity means that female leaders are driving the success of the fund with their commitment to supporting women-led ventures like Beanworks. While the fund is open to women and men, the majority of investors who are drawn to the vision set out by Pique are women and they represent 80% of the fund’s capital. This is still unusual in the male-dominated venture capital ecosystem where less than 25% of investors are women.
Pique is the first impact fund of its kind to focus on leadership diversity and emphasize women-led technology start-ups. Foley-Wong is determined to narrow the gender gap and increase diversity in an industry where women continue to be doubted for their leadership abilities and investors discriminate against female CEOs. In fact, statistics show that women-led start-ups face a huge gender barrier in accessing capital, receiving only 5% of venture capital funding.
Foley-Wong says that a total of seven female-founded ventures including Beanworks have received 100% of the capital from Pique to build technologies including digital health, food waste reduction, and emergency communications.
“Bonnie has persistently championed leadership diversity, especially women leaders in technology. She has … brought together a community of diverse investors, and supports ventures not only with capital but with advice backed by two decades of entrepreneurial and financing expertise, coaching, and connections that help my company and others grow in value,” explains Dahl.
“This latest investment in Beanworks is a great example of how Pique identifies great opportunities aligned with our impact and returns goals and supports our portfolio companies over the long term. We are well-positioned to participate in growth rounds like this and help our investors get exposure to these growing companies when they are not widely available to all investors, especially at the Series B stage,” adds Foley-Wong.
Pique Ventures is incredibly excited for the future and looks forward to new opportunities to create an impact by working with investors and entrepreneurs on the path to fulfilling their dreams.
About Pique Ventures
Pique Ventures is an impact investment and management company. Pique Ventures enables a diverse community of investors to pursue integrated investing. Integrated Investing helps investors evaluate and choose early-stage ventures that help create a better world by improving access to essential resources.